The Book of Life
What if you were able to take the young teeth that your children naturally lose and save them so that when your child becomes an adult, they are able to use the cells from those young teeth to possibly help them fight things like cancer later in life?
The good news is that you actually can! Today, banking dental stem cells is a possibility thanks to a number of organizations that have the technology to do just that. However, you may still have a lot of questions.
What Are Stem Cells?
Stem cells are a very unique type of cell in that they are “unspecialized.” This means that they really aren’t a specific type of cell. They’re cells that when applied properly, have the ability to turn into whatever type of cell you need.
Normally stem cells are harvested from embryos and are then called embryonic stem cells. But, stem cells can also be adult stem cells. The stem cells harvested from teeth are called mesenchymal stem cells.
You may still be wondering why teeth – what makes them such a great place to harvest stem cells? There happens to be a large quantity of these mesenchymal stem cells in young teeth found in the soft tissue center called the pulp. Tooth enamel is very hard and acts as a natural protector to keep the pulp safe. Plus, these young teeth fall out on their own, which makes collecting them extremely easy and non-invasive.
What Can Be Done With Dental Stem Cells?
Researchers have found that the stem cells in teeth have the possibility of helping to treat a number of conditions, including Type 1 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, repair bone joints, and liver disease.
Ask your dentist for more information on harvesting dental stem cells.